But sometimes antibiotic use leads to various side effects, digestive problems, and potentially, undesirable secondary infection with C. difficile. Using probiotics can often help with digestive problems and prevent C. difficile, but it is not guaranteed.
In some cases - due to allergies or intolerance of the side effects - patients have to stop antibiotic treatment. Because of this, patients have opted at some point in their treatment to stop taking antibiotics after a while and switch to alternative treatments such as herbs.
Whether a patient decides to use antibiotics or herbs, one thing on the horizon seems certain: Eventually antibiotic resistance will lead to more restrictive use of antibiotics, and antibiotic resistance may challenge patients' ability to treat some of their own infections.
However, there is one completely natural possibility that might treat Borrelia and some other tickborne infections in the future which is rarely mentioned in the west other than as a curiosity - yet everyone in the world is surrounded by this abundant and prosperous source of healing from nature all the time.
Much as there are different probiotic bacteria are found in yogurt and probiotic supplements that Lyme disease patients take -- there are viruses in our environment that are helpful to us.
A lot people think of a few things when they hear the word "virus": they think of H1N1 or the swine flu, colds, herpes, HIV, and meningitis, for a start. Not good things. But like the probiotic bacteria that we consume in yogurt all the time, viruses are also present in our environment - in our food, our soil, our drinking water, and our own digestive systems.
Listeria monocytogenes, from causing serious disease in pregnant women, immunocompromised people such as cancer patients, and those with immuno-deficiences. Thousands of people can be severely sickened by Listeria and in some cases even die. So the use of these viruses in food such as cheese is beneficial.
In addition to providing protection from harmful bacteria in food, these helpful viruses have also been used to help save baby calves from dying of diseases which cause severe diarrhea and prevent salmonella from colonizing chickens.
The method for treating these cases was find out which bacterial strains the animals were infected with in order to find the viruses which would eat them. Then use these viruses just as they are found in nature, with no genetic engineering required - put the viral material in pills, injections, or lotions in order to treat the infection.
So this leads one to wonder if this all-natural, non-GMO treatment which is low-cost compared to antibiotics and so abundant in nature can kill off bacterial infections in animals - why can't they kill off infections in people too?
Well, they can.
Watch the next two videos, paying special attention to the first video.
The first video is a 48 minute BBC documentary on the use of viruses to kill bacteria, also known as "bacteriophage therapy" in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, in the Eliava Institute of Tblisi.
Note that if the institute seems run down, filming was done after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the hospital just came out of a civil war - thus buildings had poor maintenance, but the technology to use bacteriophage therapy was in place and used. (After a period of economic instability and social problems - followed by the Rose Revolution - Georgia and Tblisi have been doing much better in the past several years.)
So this documentary is a little dated but general principles remain the same - it explains very well what bacteriophage therapy is and how it has been used in Europe for over 60 years through the 1990's (it continues to be used today - more on recent research using phages will be posted this week).
Youtube (3 parts)
BBC Horizon - 1997 - The Virus That Cures
This second video is from Canadian television as well as CBS news and is more recent - it contains two clips back to back about two people who were treated with phage therapy and their results. Don't miss it - the results are amazing when you realize the initial prognosis each patient was given.
Case studies on phage treatment plus Evergreen College,
Washington State phage research - [Time: 9:26 minutes]
Is bacteriophage therapy this effective? Does it have any pitfalls? Why don't we hear more about it here yet, given the rising number of cases of antibiotic resistance to deadly bacteria such as MRSA? What can it treat so far? How can this treatment help Lyme disease patients in the future? Here's just one more video just to get a different angle on it from Australian news (Channel 7 and Channel 9). It talks more about history, plus business investments and projections for human trials...
The Forgotten Cure - on Sunday Sunrise, Channel 7 -
plus a short clip on phages from Channel 9More on this later this week - for now, check out the videos and let me know what you think, including your own questions and concerns about this kind of medical treatment. [CO note: Continue reading part two of this series, "Phage Therapy and Borrelia burgdorferi".]
This work by Camp Other is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.